10 Facts about Life Expectancy in Djibouti
The life expectancy of a country deeply intertwines with various factors, such as economic status, living conditions and nutrition.  People living within these countries often find themselves short on food, stable living conditions and consistent employment which may lead to a higher mortality rate.  These 10 facts about life expectancy in Djibouti will show the myriad of factors playing into Djibouti’s low life expectancy, and how NGOs and Djibouti’s government are making a difference in the region.

10 Facts About Life Expectancy in Djibouti

  1. Djibouti’s life expectancy is 66.81 years as of 2019. Djibouti’s death rate is 7.5 deaths per 1,000 people while its birth rate is 23.3 births per 1,000. While Djibouti’s life expectancy is dramatically lower than the global average of 72 years, 66.81 years is a 0.4 percent improvement from 2018.
  2. Djibouti’s life expectancy ranks 191 out of 223 countries, putting it on the lower end of worldwide life expectancies. Diabetes may cause many deaths and general disabilities in Djibouti, which causes the most death and disability of any disease.  This goes hand in hand with malnutrition, which also causes the most death and disability in Djibouti combined.
  3. Djibouti receives 90 percent of its food as imports, which is because of the arid conditions in the region that makes successful agriculture difficult. This, in turn, causes food insecurity to be a major problem, as 62 percent of the rural population has inadequate access to nutritious food.  However, malnutrition rates have dropped from 18 percent in 2015 to 7.5 percent in 2016.
  4. Sixty-two percent of rural Djiboutians have insufficient access to healthy food.  In order to counteract this, the World Food Programme and the Government of Djibouti teamed up to create the Humanitarian Logistics Hub, a facility built to house large quantities of food and goods for the Horn of Africa region.  The Humanitarian Logistics Hub can store 25,000 metric tons of food, making access to nutritious food easier for the Horn of Africa region.
  5. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has been a force for good in Djibouti. IFAD has spearheaded multiple projects devoted to the betterment of Djibouti. One of these projects is the Programme for the Mobilisation of Surface Water and Sustainable Land Management which began in 2007.  This project intended to develop the Djibouti Ministry of Agriculture and local communities’ abilities to manage natural resources in a more effective manner and give practiced guidelines that would help spread clean surface water to local communities as well as guidelines for sustainable land management. IFAD considered this project a success and ended in 2013.
  6. Djibouti’s GDP (which is $5,307 per capita) should increase by 7 percent in 2019 with much of the economic growth coming from transportation and logistics due to the Port of Djibouti’s importance in the region. None of the countries with a GDP per capita around $50,000 have a life expectancy below 74 years. Conversely, no country with a GDP per capita around $500 has a life expectancy above 64 years.
  7. Djibouti’s drinking water sources are among the most modernized and widespread of all the nations in the Horn of Africa with 97.4 percent of the urban population having access to improved water sources (i.e protected springs, rainwater collection, tap water, etc.) Only 64.7 percent of the rural population has access to these water sources, though, which is due to the droughts that have plagued the country since 2009. This has effectively eliminated surface water in some rural areas. There is hope, however, as the IFAD’s ongoing project, the Soil and Water Management Programme is working towards ensuring that rural households gain access to sustainable sources of water. It intends to add to the network of hydraulic structures that the previous program implemented.
  8. Only 51.8 percent of Djiboutians have access to electricity. Much of the urban population (67.4 percent) has access to electricity and a paltry two percent of rural areas have access to electricity. However, Djibouti does have options in the form of renewable energy, primary in the form of wind, geothermal and solar.  Djibouti’s rural areas having inadequate access to electricity is because of the uneven distribution of energy resources.  The country can rectify this with power grid integration, however.
  9. Most people living in Djibouti are between the ages of 0-14 (30.71 percent) and 25-54 (39.63 percent) with less than 5 percent making it to the 55-64 age range. As of 2017, Djibouti’s most frequent cause of death is HIV/AIDS followed by heart disease and lower respiratory infections.  As of 2016, Djibouti has a Healthcare Access and Quality Index (HAQ) of 35.0 which is a massive increase from the 24.3 HAQ in 2000.
  10. Only 47.4 percent of the population has access to improved sanitation facilities while 52.6 percent of the Djiboutian population have unimproved sanitation facilities. Waterborne illnesses like hepatitis A, hepatitis E and typhoid fever thrive in areas of low sanitation, as they often spread when fecal matter and waste come into contact with drinking water. To combat this, USAID has enacted the Water, Sanitation and Health (WASH) project that aims to educate the Djiboutian public on important hygiene practices, along with modernizing boreholes and ring-wells in more rural areas to prevent water contamination.

These 10 facts about life expectancy in Djibouti show that while Djibouti has many issues contributing towards its abnormally low life expectancy, none of these issues are insurmountable.  What Djibouti lacks in resources it more than makes up for with its favorable geographic location that makes it a hub of local and international maritime trade.

An in-depth look at these 10 facts about life expectancy in Djibouti makes it plain as day that Djibouti can and will overcome the factors hindering the population’s low life expectancy.  Djibouti’s GDP increases every day thanks to its bustling port that provides jobs and goods; the Humanitarian Logistics Hub is a step in the right direction for Djiboutian nutrition and its water sources are second to none. Djibouti has shown that with a little help from NGOs and government agencies like the IFAD and USAID, it can become a thriving maritime hub where no man, woman or child goes hungry, thirsty or destitute.

– Ryan Holman
Photo: Wikipedia Commons

Renewable Energy in Djibouti

Djibouti, located in East Africa and bordered by Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia, has a population of nearly one million people. In 2013, Djibouti announced Vision 2035, a comprehensive plan to use exclusively renewable energy and achieve universal access to reliable electricity. If successful, Djibouti would become the seventh country in the world and the first African country to achieve 100 percent renewable energy.

Djibouti’s Energy Infrastructure Today

Right now, Djibouti faces several roadblocks in its path toward renewable energy. For example, much of Djibouti’s energy comes from volatile imports. Around 65 percent of Djibouti’s electricity comes from Ethiopia. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), this reliance on imported energy leads to price volatility that can hamstring economic development plans. Much of Djibouti’s remaining energy comes from its own geothermal, solar, wind and biomass sources. However, much of this electricity is unreliable. According to USAID, 100 megawatts of electricity that Djibouti consumes, only 57 megawatts are available to serve the population because of underdeveloped energy infrastructure. In addition, only 60 percent of Djiboutians have access to electricity. There is a large disparity in access between urban and rural areas, with far more city dwellers connected to the grid than those in rural areas. In total, 110,000 households in Djibouti without electricity.

Potential and Progress

Despite these hurdles, Djibouti has a remarkable potential to increase domestic renewable energy production. Djibouti has the natural capacity to produce 300 megawatts of renewable energy annually—triple what it produces today. The country has abundant solar radiation for the creation of solar farms and many opportunities to harvest geothermal energy, such as the rifts of its two largest lakes, Abbe and Assal.

Since the 2013 commencement of Vision 2035, much of this potential has been actualized. The creation of the Djibouti Geothermal Power Generation Project, a power plant in Lake Assal, was announced in 2013. In 2018, construction began after $50 million in funding was secured by the World Bank and other financiers. Moreover, a $390 million solar farm is under construction in southern Djibouti as a result of a public-private partnership between Djibouti’s Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources and Green Enesys, a German renewable energy firm. Djibouti is already beginning to reap the benefits of renewable energy investment projects. The World Bank reports a four percent increase in access to electricity from 2013 to 2017—the largest sustained increase in over two decades.

The Importance of Renewable Energy

There are many important benefits to Vision 2035 if it succeeds. Access to energy is essential to economic growth. The World Bank reports that reliable energy is critical for several aspects of development such as “health, education, food security, gender equality, livelihoods and poverty reduction.” Better electricity is vital for sustained progress in Djibouti.

Additionally, Vision 2035 offers a framework of sustainable development that maintains the integrity of Djibouti’s natural ecosystems. By harnessing energy from renewable sources, Djibouti can reduce poverty without depleting its forests or relying on imported coal or oil. By becoming the first African country to use 100 percent renewable energy, Djibouti has the opportunity to become a leading international voice in sustainable development.

– Abraham Rohrig
Photo: Flickr

Top 10 Facts About Living Conditions in Djibouti
Djibouti’s location in the Horn of Africa makes it a prime port for trade. The diverse population has taken an increased interest in this country’s urban areas bordering the coast. The country’s GDP is rising, but 16 percent of the population was still living under $1.90 per day in 2017. These top 10 facts about living conditions in Djibouti reveal the status of the country as well as the effects of welcomed foreign interactions.

Top 10 Facts About Living Conditions in Djibouti

  1. Although one-third of the population’s main income is livestock, it contributes only 3 percent to Djibouti’s GDP. On average, the country only gets 130 millimeters of rain each year. Because of this, only a small portion of the land, about 1,000 square kilometers, can be used for agriculture. This leaves Djibouti with no choice but to rely on affordable international market prices to import 90 percent of its food commodities. The World Food Program (WFP) is supporting the government with a school feeding program and food security for the families affected by drought.
  2. Currently, the poverty rate in Djibouti is at 21 percent. However, in the last 15 years, the country’s GDP has been growing by more than 3 percent per year. There is work to be done to bring a living wage to the people.
  3. Djibouti provides a gateway to the Suez Canal. Acting as a stable bridge between African and Middle Eastern areas draws trade, foreign military bases and foreign assistance. Djibouti is the host to NATO and other foreign forces, proving it to be a neutral country even in the midst of surrounding conflict.
  4. In 2019, Djibouti may be responsible for an estimated 42,100 displaced people under the National Refugee Law. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is helping to ease this burden through socio-economic integration. Their efforts aim to include refugees in the education and health systems and to assist with voluntary resettlement.
  5. Although many people moved to urban areas in search of economic opportunity, droughts over the last 30 years and conflict in the region forced many out into extension slums. The International Development Association’s (IDA) Slum Upgrading Project has gained support in the amount of $20 million. The development will mitigate the overpopulated areas by establishing a system of transportation for the public, their goods and emergency assistance.
  6. The enrollment rate of Djiboutian students in 2017 was less than 50 percent across the board. Fortunately, the completion rate of children in primary school has improved from 22 percent in 2000 to 55 percent in 2018 for females and from 31 percent in 2000 to 60 percent in 2018 for males. These percentages in enrollment and completion rates are projected to rise.
  7. The cost of electricity in Djibouti is double that of the African average. Currently, electricity is available to half the population, and the percentage of consumers is expected to double in the near future. As a result, USAID is launching two projects, the Power Africa Transaction and Reform Program (PATRP) and the East Africa Geothermal Partnership (EAGP), which will develop Djibouti’s natural resource potential into sustainable energy in order to power the country.
  8. Cybercafes offer online access to counter the high cost of the internet. More than 105,000 Djiboutians, who cannot afford internet, utilize these cybercafes, although access does not guarantee the availability of all sites and information, especially in regards to media. Authorities will block access to websites they find unfavorable to the government.
  9. Djiboutian male family members do not curb their women away from work opportunities, and there are no laws forbidding female entrepreneurship. However, the difficulty of accessing the market is in part due to social norms, family duties, education or skill barriers and transportation issues. The World Bank understands the vital role female empowerment plays in improving their society. For this reason, they have launched the 3.82 million dollar project, “E-commerce for Women-led SMEs.” Their contributions will provide Djiboutian women with the tools to access e-commerce platforms. The project’s connections to financial institutions, such as IFC’s Banking on Women network, lending specifically to women, will alleviate the struggle women have had trying to finance their small firms through disinterested creditors.
  10. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is practiced on more than 90 percent of women and girls in Djibouti. Some have endured this under qualified medical practitioners. But, medicalizing the act does not mean there are health benefits to removing the tissue. The tradition is practiced for different reasons, such as to represent a transition to womanhood or to discourage sexuality in women. Some communities associate it with religion, believing it fosters virtuous women, although there is no support for that belief in religious scriptures. FGM leads to severe pain, prolonged bleeding, higher risk of infection or HIV transmission and death. Women can also experience infertility or multiple complications in childbirth. UNICEF and the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) have spearheaded a program to advocate for legislation banning FGM, provide victims with access to health care professionals and open the discussion to voice declarations against FGM in communities, like Djibouti, being affected.

Djibouti’s cosmopolitan port keeps it a central location for foreign affairs; however, an overpopulation of displaced people and drought have put a strain on food security. Equality is a work in progress. Though FGM still poses a threat to Djiboutian girls, there are organizations working to end the barbaric practice. Furthermore, women are on the rise towards entrepreneurship. These top 10 facts about living conditions in Djibouti show the continued external support that contributes to the country’s infrastructure in order to create a stronger country.

– Crystal Tabares
Photo: Flickr

Efforts to Improve Girls Education in Djibouti
Educating young people is one of the first steps to decreasing extreme poverty in many underdeveloped countries of the world. In Djibouti, this fact has been recognized and progress is being made to educate children. The special attention is on educating young girls in the country.

Statistics of Education in Djibouti

In four short years, between 2002 and 2006, net school enrollment in Djibouti rose from 43 percent to 66 percent. This was viewed as amazing progress at the time, but it was still unsatisfactory. In order to meet the standards of the Millenium Development Goals, Djibouti needed to lessen the statistic that showed that one of three children is not attending school. The final goal of the government is to get all its boys and girls into school.

Within the statistic mentioned above, the majority of the children not attending school were girls. To fix this, the focus was on bettering girls’ education in the country. Two organizations that have done an amazing job on girls education in Djibouti are UNICEF and Global Partnership for Education Efforts.

UNICEF Efforts

UNICEF discovered, without any surprise, that the main reasons why girls are not enrolled in schools were directly correlated with poverty and social problems. These reasons included the fact that most of the girls out of school were orphans, homeless and neglected. Other factors that affected this statistic were health problems and disabilities.

UNICEF implemented the Basic Education and Gender Equality Program which was composed of three components: equal access to educational facilities, quality of primary education and non-formal education. Each component had subtopics within them.

The most important and impactful ones were social mobilization efforts, creating mass media educational systems, promoting child-friendly school systems, increasing teacher training, increasing women involvement in teaching, better access for children from rural areas and the development of alternative teaching methods.

Global Partnership for Education Efforts

The Global Partnership for Education Efforts partnered with the Djibouti government for the first time in 2006. Their education sector plan for the country is a nine-year program, planned from 2010 to 2019.

This organization has very similar goals as UNICEF, which makes sense since these are partner programs. However, it is still important that yet another organization pushes hard for equal education rights in the country.

The program has six main objectives. The first is developing a pre-school system that connects rural, urban, private and public sectors so that everyone receives the same education across the board. For primary education, their second goal is to have 100 percent of eligible children enrolled by 2019. They have settled for 79 percent for secondary education, understanding the need to work in some situations.

The third goal is to eliminate the gender disparity. The organization understands the importance of bridging the gap between genders so that girls can become future leaders, teachers and lawmakers who will continue to fight for equal rights for all citizens in Djibouti. This goal is the most important one from the standpoint of improving the girls’ education in Djibouti. The remaining goals all have to do with reform on every level that interacts with the education system in Djibouti. Global Partnership for Education has many strategies that they are using to reach these goals.

The government of Djibouti has been aware of the need to increase school enrollment of girls since the early 21st century. Since then, they have been working with organizations like UNICEF and Global Partnership to fix disparities.

Being aware and making moves to fix things are some of the most important steps to fixing a problem, especially one concerning poverty and education rights. The fight for increasing girls’ education in Djibouti is not over yet.

Global Partnership still regularly updates their progress on the matter, with their most recent article being from October 2018. Keeping hope alive and working together matters most in these harsh times.

Miranda Garbaciak
Photo: Flickr

Djibouti
Any country can benefit from having greater credit, deposit, payment, insurance, and other services at its people’s disposal. This is why in recent times there has been a larger focus on financial assistance and infrastructure development in developing nations. Credit access in Djibouti has hence become a prime focus for its allies and has the potential to change the economic landscape of the nation when executed properly.

Benefits of Greater Credit Access in Djibouti

 

Credit access has the potential to increase consumers’ access to a variety of services, such as healthcare and government spending, and can improve their general standard of living. When bank accounts are readily available to everyone, financial assets can be better monitored and people who are less informed can make more informed decisions about their investments with the help of bankers. This can also facilitate an easier cash outflow, leading to consumers increasing their spending and positively influencing the gross domestic product of Djibouti. Since Djibouti’s infrastructure is still not optimal, international financial assistance is required to help provide capital for credit access plans while also combating economic issues that the nation does not necessarily have funds for.

The Good News

In May 2014, the World Bank announced its support for Djibouti through a $5.6 million investment to support the government’s Second Urban Poverty Reduction Project. This credit line has been brought in to help the country provide more urban services to poor rural neighborhoods in Djibouti. This is an example of an investment earmarked to improve the nation’s basic infrastructure so as to make it more self-sufficient in improving financial access in the future. The project also aims to involve the people in incorporating new changes while also allowing for more employment opportunities and awareness about financial services among the locals.

The World Bank has seven more projects planned in Djibouti through the International Development Association. These interventions will have a value of close to $57 million and will be further supported by trust funds worth almost $11 million. All these projects are meant to address rural community development, social security, clean energy, poverty reduction, health and education by creating more credit lines for the government, ensuring that there is both financial security for the funds Djibouti receives as well as an increase in the standard of living for its people.

Positive Impact

Thanks to the reforms, credit access in Djibouti has also increased the ease of banking. In recent times, Djibouti’s banking sector generates 10 percent of the nation’s GDP and has attracted several foreign banks to the country. Previously, there were only two banks in Djibouti, Banque pour le Commerce et l’Industrie and the Bank of Africa. This made it harder for people to negotiate loans or reap the benefit of choice by considering the interest rates offered by multiple banks. Now with an influx of banking services, people are able to make deposits at multiple locations, secure loans from other banks even if their first application gets rejected, and make smarter investments in Djibouti and abroad. The number of deposits made by people increased from $1.088 billion to $1.1 billion in 2013, showing a 7.7 percent improvement. This sets up people to use more than one means of payment, enabling them to afford many more services. The positive changes in the banking sector have led to a total increase in domestic credit by 2.1 percent in 2013.

Hope for the Future

As Djibouti’s economy grows, a brighter future for its people becomes more apparent. Credit access in Djibouti has the potential to open up new doors for aspiring businessmen and those willing to expand their services, which will ensure that people have more choice and a better standard of living. International Monetary Fund loans and existing funding from the World Bank and other allies of the nation can help Djibouti improve the existing financial infrastructure and complement the benefits of greater credit access. With funds flowing in from so many channels and the government making more conscious efforts to break out of the credit slump, there is hope for the future.

– Sanjana Subramanian
Photo: Flickr

U.S. benefits from foreign aid to DjiboutiA tiny, desert-like East African nation, Djibouti is more synonymous with counter-terrorism and the piracy concerns of its southern neighbor than economic ties to the U.S. However, substantial U.S. foreign aid is indirectly creating opportunities for U.S. exporters. Additionally, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Djibouti by securing efficient and reliable trade routes to other nearby African countries such as Ethiopia, in which the U.S. has key commercial interests.

Home to roughly 875,000 people, as well as a significant U.S., German, Japanese, French and most recently Chinese military presence, Djibouti has a decidedly disproportionate amount of foreign military within its borders. The U.S. pays $60 million each year to Djibouti for the rights to maintain its only permanent sub-Saharan military base.

But, U.S. foreign aid coming into the country is equally important in Djibouti for the majority of citizens looking for work. Although U.S. investment in the country pales in contrast to that of new entrants into the region such as China, the actual workforce of Djibouti is benefiting from the more nuanced and domestically-oriented U.S. foreign aid.

New ventures in the construction of ports, pipelines, international airports and railways have somewhat failed to raise the standard of living and stimulate employment. Accounting for 70 percent of GDP, the new port projects have only added a few thousand jobs. According to the U.N., despite recent Chinese soft loans toward these various infrastructure projects, the unemployment rate in Djibouti still stands at 60 percent.

This high level of unemployment is partly due to a lack of qualified candidates in many sectors of the economy. Workers looking for jobs simply do not have the necessary skills required to fill many of the possible vacancies.

Through the Workforce Development Project (WDP), the United States Agency for International Development and Djibouti are working together to reduce unemployment and create a more modern labor force. Investments of nearly $25 million over five years (2016-2021) are aimed at increasing competitiveness by tailoring the workforce to the needs of a modern economy.

The WDP emphasizes creating stronger connections between worker training programs and employers. Specifically, through more meaningful ties between vocational education centers and businesses, the future workforce will be better suited for the demands of firms and will likely have greater hiring potential.

Although not as flashy as the new Doraleh Port or the new electrified railroad connecting Djibouti City and Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, the WDP will create thousands of new consumers to U.S. exports. This is especially promising since the soaring unemployment rate allows for ample economic improvements should this transformation of the workforce take place. USAID, centered on workforce assimilation, is therefore fostering job growth that will be more sustainable than temporary employment based on glitzy infrastructure projects.

Another way in which the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Djibouti is by promoting ongoing access to the substantial trade flows emanating from regional neighbors. A prime example of this is Ethiopia. Much of Ethiopia’s exports—including coffee, vegetables and cosmetics—are routed through Djibouti on their way to the U.S. Meanwhile, as of 2016, 90 percent of all Ethiopian imports were brought via ports in Djibouti.

U.S. foreign aid indirectly contributes to these regional trade routes of East Africa by creating a more prosperous and modernized workforce in Djibouti. A thriving, educated and healthy Djibouti society will undoubtedly increase the opportunities for cross-border trade.

One byproduct of this increasingly interconnected region around Djibouti would be more timely and reliable shipment of goods and lower associated transportation costs. As in Ethiopia, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Djibouti are amplified when stability across the wider East African region is maintained.

On this last issue, there is little doubt that the military presence plays a prominent role. However, U.S. programs aiming to reduce unemployment such as the WDP, by indirectly promoting a more sustainable domestic environment in Djibouti, also contribute to regional stability. Garnering less attention than the massive infrastructure spending, transforming the country one worker at a time will lead to continued U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Djibouti

– Nathan Ghelli

Photo: Flickr

Credit Access in Djibouti
Credit access in Djibouti is something that activists in the United States have been working to improve for several years. Foreign aid in the form of economic assistance not only boosts the economic health of Djibouti and other foreign markets, but it also provides people with the means to participate in the global economy as well.

Positive Effects of Improved Credit Access

Credit access is a complicated issue that effects several factors including personal wellbeing, access to governmental aid and availability of health resources. Foreign assistance to improve credit access can help countries combat environmental as well as economic issues.

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) report, in 2012 a drought in Djibouti resulted in the government requesting access to credit assistance for an environmental crisis:

“The drought in Djibouti has worsened water scarcity, reduced agricultural production and cattle stock, and accelerated refugee inflows. The authorities have requested an augmentation of access under the ECF of 60 percent of quota. As a result of exogenous shocks, financing needs for 2011–12 are expected to be higher than previously projected, despite the pledges from the international community to help Djibouti address the impact of the drought.”

Recovering from Drought

Credit access in Djibouti provided the government with the means to help citizens combat the detrimental effects of the drought in 2012. Foreign credit assistance can also contribute to improving infrastructure and social mobility in the time of an environmental issue. In 2014, a $5.6 million agreement between the U.S. and Djibouti assisted citizens who had been affected by flooding according to a 2014 report:

“The project targets the 25,000 residents of Q7, a flood-prone area in which 70 percent of households have no sewage system. The residents of this neighborhood, the densest in Djibouti City, will benefit from increased access to basic services, urban mobility, flood management, community development activities, and on-site job opportunities.”

Everyday Benefits

The effects of credit access in Djibouti is not limited to government resources. According to the United Nations Development Programme, the establishment of credit unions have affected the lives of citizens who provide for themselves every day. According to the UNDP, credit union members have risen from 1,600 to 3,041 in just six months.

According to Nima Moussa Warfa, the credit union gave her the opportunity to change her living situation. “I used to live over there but as I borrowed money and as my business grew, I was able to build this house,” she said.

The Global Economy

Credit access increases participation in the global economy, improves economic health as well as generates revenue. Credit access in Djibouti would allow tourism and global market participation to contribute to the success of the economy.

Participation in larger market can also improve the economic budget of Djibouti if aid gives the country the resources it needs to be successful. Overall, improved economic health through foreign aid benefits both the assisted country as well as the global economy.

One way this improvement could be achieved is through credit access in Djibouti. For economies and markets that need assistance improving market participation, credit access is a way for people to participate if they do not have the means to do so already.

IMF Loans

IMF loans is one way that foreign credit assistance is provided to countries across the world. The IMF focuses on providing countries with the financial resources it needs to address social and environmental issues, focusing on “crisis resolution.”

The organization states in its 2017 report that “This crisis resolution role is at the core of IMF lending. At the same time, the global financial crisis has highlighted the need for effective global financial safety nets to help countries cope with adverse shocks.”

Improving National and Global Fiscal Health

Foreign credit assistance is something that financial activists work to provide to countries in need across the world as it improves the health of not only the country in need, but the economic health of global markets as well.

It is a form of aid that provides governments with the means to encourage strong health institutions and businesses. In addition, it gives citizens of countries in need of assistance more autonomy over their financial lives. Activists will continue to look for ways to aid those in need, and credit assistance is an excellent place to start.

– Gabriella Evans

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

USAID in DjiboutiFrom 2011 to 2018, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has been working with Djibouti, a country located in sub-Saharan Africa. It operates numerous programs lasting from one to multiple years, and an increase in funding for specific programs has shown how USAID in Djibouti can work.

2011

In 2011, Project Aide, which came out as a four-year plan in 2010 to help increase basic education, was still funded at $1.8 million. Project Aide helped train teachers and revise textbooks. The Commodity Cost of USAID Title II Food Aid received four million dollars to stop hunger, fight disease, support families and help with health, water, nutrition and hygiene. Furthermore, in 2011 USAID in Djibouti also worked with the Combined Joint Task Force/Horn of Africa to construct three new classrooms, upgrade solar panels, renovate latrines and build a security fence.

2012

In 2012, Project AIDE received its all-time highest funding of $2.9 million. The Commodity Cost of USAID Title II Food Aid program was still funded, but only at one million dollars. However, 2012 brought a new program from USAID called Roads to a Healthy Future II (Roads II).  This program received $1.3 million and the purpose was to alleviate HIV/AIDS and other STIs in Djibouti. USAID in Djibouti worked the Roads II program from 2012-2017. Djibouti also first received U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relieve (PEPFAR) funds in 2012, which would help prevent HIV/AIDS starting in early 2013.

2013

2013 brought no new highly funded programs but continued with two USAID programs: Project AIDE and Commodity Cost of USAID II Emergency Program for Humanitarian Assistance. Project AIDE received $2.4 million, and the Commodity Cost program received $1.7 million. USAID in Djibouti, as well as Roads II, helped bring SafeTStop in 2013. The goal of SafeTStop was to help educate individuals about HIV/AIDS and provide condoms and testing.

2014

USAID in Djibouti brought a new program in 2014 funded at $1.5 million. This program was Commodity Cost of USAID Title II Emergency Program for Protection, Assistance and Solutions. It was helped further by the World Food Program to supply protection, assistance and solutions to countries in further need of aid. The World Food Program also helped implement another program called ITSH Freight Cost of USAID Title II Emergency Program for Protection, Assistance and Solutions, which reappears with high funding in 2017. Roads II continued steady funding with $1.3 million.

2015

Both regular aid programs dropped in funding in 2015 to $1.2 million. The two programs are The Commodity Cost of USAID Title II Emergency Program for Protection, Assistance and Solutions and Roads II, but both remained the two highest funded programs of the year.

2016

2016 brought an end to the Roads II program but marked the beginning of two new, highly funded programs. The water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector received the most funding with $1.7 million, and the goal was to increase access to potable water, sanitation and hygiene. WASH also planned to help at least 25,000 poor or vulnerable people enhance their hygiene practices so they can live healthier lives. The other new program was the Workforce Development program (WFD), which aimed to help youth and adults obtain knowledge higher than basic literacy and numeracy to increase job opportunities. 2016 also brought along the Women’s Empowerment and Livelihoods project at Arta’s Regional Council, which is a two-year, one million dollar program to help women in Djibouti.

2017

By 2017, the WFD project was in full effect and funded at $12 million. Now, the project is planned to last roughly five years, taking it all the way to 2021. USAID in Djibouti also funded more than one million dollars each to the ITSH Freight Cost of USAID Title II Emergency Program for Protection, Assistance and Solutions and Commodity Cost of USAID Title II Emergency Program for Protection, Assistance and Solutions.

2018

As of today, there are plans to help with US Food AID for refugees and to continue help with education, such as training another 1,200 primary school teachers and revising textbooks with a gender lens. USAID in Djibouti also plans to support programs to help control diseases such as polio, tuberculous and HIV/AIDS, and also improve nutrition. This year also brings the first public-private partnership to help with HIV/AIDS and building a 1,600 square foot center for health care, counseling, testing and education.

As the past ten years progressed, USAID in Djibouti changed with the needs of the country. Every year, USAID focused on what the country needed to be as successful as possible. With the constant aid and funding, Djibouti was able to increase its overall health and workforce and decrease its diseases rates.

– Amber Duffus

Photo: U.S. Africa Command

Humanitarian Aid to Djibouti

Djibouti is a relatively small country in eastern Africa bordered by Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea. The majority of the population lives in urban areas, but this does not mean that the country is immune to problems such as poor nutrition, lack of education and poverty. The success of humanitarian aid to Djibouti has been in addressing these problems and more.

Children and Education

There has been a serious gap in education for females in Djibouti. The literacy rate in 2007 was 81.2 percent for males and only 63.8 percent for females. USAID has been working to specifically address this issue by doing work such as connecting girls with university mentors and revising textbooks using a gender-specific lens. In regard to more general education issues, USAID has also helped to develop a national teacher training plan that has trained more than 1,200 primary school teachers.

The United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative has also addressed these issues within Djibouti. Their Integrated Early Childhood Development program addresses girls’ education as well as childhood health with a focus on preventing HIV/AIDS and polio. They are also working to incorporate the principles of the Convention on the Rights of a Child into common practice in Djibouti.

Health and Medicine

USAID has also addressed health in Djibouti with a focus on problems related to tuberculosis, polio and HIV/AIDS. They have worked with the government of Djibouti to enhance the National Tuberculosis Program to maintain quality assurance and the management of multi-drug resistant cases. The organization has also supported the polio surveillance program to ensure the virus does not reenter through surrounding countries and to ensure childhood vaccination. Lastly, with the help of the government and other organizations, USAID has created a 1,600 square foot community health center which provides healthcare to over 30,000 truckers and other vulnerable persons to specifically address HIV/AIDS.

UNICEF also worked to address severe acute malnutrition within Djibouti. They provided treatment to 3,811 children under five and 29,513 children between six and 59 months in 2017. UNICEF was also pivotal in providing care for refugees in Djibouti.

Refugees and Displaced Persons

The success of humanitarian aid to Djibouti cannot be discussed without mentioning refugees and displaced persons. Djibouti has been known as a transit country for refugees fleeing conflict-stricken countries. As of October 2017, there were more than 27,000 refugees in the country, which is 3 percent of the total population. Some of these refugees have been in Djibouti for over 25 years. There are three refugee camps across the country, all of which depend on humanitarian aid.

More specifically, UNICEF has worked to aid refugee and migrant children. In 2017, they provided 632 children with child protective services and 139 children were involved in risk awareness activities. They also provided 4,396 children with access to schooling. The UNHCR also works to aid refugees in Djibouti with resettlement, ensuring refugee children have access to secondary education and providing food and water to refugee camps.

The success of humanitarian aid to Djibouti is an ongoing process. Drought and a lack of fertile land put pressure on the country as it continues to accept refugees while providing for native citizens. With the help of these international organizations and others, the hope is that Djibouti will continue to be a welcoming and safe country for all who live there.

– Megan Burtis

Photo: Flickr

sustainable agriculture in Djibouti
Sitting at a major waterway entrance to the gulf-states region, Djibouti is a critical gatekeeper in the international economy. However, despite this status, the country has an extremely low quality of life and agricultural opportunity. Sustainable agriculture in Djibouti is a long-term project, but thankfully one that is making major headway in the region.

There are several projects focused on sustainable agriculture in the area, including projects through the Djibouti Ministry of Agriculture, Water, Fisheries, Livestock and Marine Resources (MAWFLM), the World Bank Group and the African Development Bank Group. These projects are diverse and focus on everything from economic sustainability to increasing clean water supply, and will have both short-term capability and long-term effects on sustainable agriculture in Djibouti.

 

The Djibouti Ministry of Agriculture, Water, Fisheries, Livestock and Marine Resources

Sustainable agriculture in Djibouti is not a quick fix. According to a report from the MAWFLM, currently there is nearly no available land with access to clean water on which to farm. Since the landscape is so dry and barren, the MAWLFM has encouraged farmers to begin digging deeper wells so they can access clean underground reservoirs to irrigate their crops. The MAWFLM, in conjunction with the Japanese government, has been working to determine the most effective source of irrigation in the region.

During their research, MAWFLM discovered that shallow wells are likely going to be the most cost-effective form of irrigation, but that groundwater will be most useful for off-season irrigation. This research is imperative for increasing the number of agricultural products grown in Djibouti, and MAWFLM is continuing research in sustainable and economically efficient forms of water sustainability.

 

The World Bank Group

An integral part of growing a sustainable agriculture market in Djibouti is acquiring the ability to power any machinery needed. For the World Bank Group, electrification of rural areas was a major investment for Djibouti. The group began researching the best way to electrify Djibouti for farmers in 2017, so as a fairly new project, it hasn’t seen many results as of yet.

However, the plan is to invest nearly $23.4 million total in building not only facilities to increase power connectivity but to also teach technicians and electricians how to work with the new technology.

While it is yet to be determined how the World Bank Group’s electrification project will work, it’s a huge step toward modernization in Djibouti.

 

The African Development Bank Group

The African Development Bank Group is one of many groups working to improve infrastructure, but they stand out among the rest because they are based and run out of African nations. The group works to not only improve the quality of infrastructure in African countries, but to also advocate for long-term relief in many different areas of sustainability.

The Bank Group has advocated for Djibouti’s sustainable agriculture progress since 2004, and are continuing to lead in legislative advocacy for climate change and agriculture growth.

There are plenty of groups working to improve sustainable agriculture in Djibouti, and there are also other international organizations working to help provide for the many who are still affected by agriculture infertility in the area. Sustainable agriculture in Djibouti is a long-term project, but it is one that is being thoroughly pursued.

– Molly Atchison

Photo: Flickr